Prediction: Bayern Munich vs Hoffenheim

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Verdict: Half-Time/Full-Time Home Win

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

Bayern Munich will know better than to underestimate the apparently out-of-sorts Hoffenheim who nevertheless remain the entertaining streetwise upstarts who are the only Bundesliga team to have beaten the reigning champions twice in the same calendar year.  

Bayern Munich

The Bavarian giants stand in front of a huge test to their impressive 31-match unbeaten Bundesliga run at home turf. The club’s longest spell since moving to Allianz Arena in 2005 acts as a great proof of Bayern Munich’s burgeoning form which took them 16 points clear of the closest rivals on top of the Bundesliga standings.

It could be due to the gapping advantage that Bayern Munich allowed themselves the luxury to drop their guard a bit last weekend in a clash against Werder Bremen when champions displayed some rather unusual defensive frailties to concede two goals in a 4-2 victory. To be fair, head coach Jupp Heynckes did have a couple of selection issues at the back with Mats Hummels and David Alaba down to illness but their absence does not make enough of an alibi. Heynkess will now need his team to be on top of their game in this experience-vs-youth matchup which has also been described as current Bayern Munich manager against the future one.

Team News

Hummels and Alaba are coming back from illness whereas Arturo Vidal is also expected to take his place in the team at the expense of Franck Ribery.

Manuel Neuer continues to miss out through injury, while Fruchtl and Thiago join him in the treatment room.

Hoffenheim

Julian Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim has been one of the most entertaining sides to watch over the past twelve months in the Bundesliga. Die Kraichgauer crowned their successful season with a fourth-place finish last term and headed into the new season with their head held high, hoping to build on the last year’s success.

The European exploits seem to be taking their toll, however, with Hoffenheim going enduring a difficult time in the new campaign both domestically and internationally. Nagelsmann’s men were eliminated from the Europa League group stages after finishing rock-bottom in Group C behind the likes of Basaksehir, Ludogorets and Braga, whereas their Bundesliga exploits were only enough for the ninth place in the standings. Only 11 points in last 10 matches are not the kind of result Nagelsmann had hoped for and last weekend’s home hammering by Bayer Leverkusen (4-1) put him back to the drawing board. Hoffenheim might be on the downward side of things at the moment but they still remain the only team to have beaten Bayern Munich twice in the same calendar year so the following match should be an exciting one.

Team News

Stefan Posch is expected to replace Ermin Bicakcic in defence, whereas Nadiem Amiri should be a preferred choice ahead of Florian Grillitsch.

Kobel, Akpoguma and Demirbay all miss out due to respective injuries.

Key Points to Consider

  • Bayern Munich are on a 31-match unbeaten run at the Allianz Arena
  • Hoffenheim only won 11 points from their last 10 matches
  • Thomas Muller scored his 100th goal for Bayern Munich last weekend
  • Hoffenheim are the only team to beat Bayern twice in a single year
  • Both sides failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three matches

Conclusion

Hoffenheim are a team capable of inflicting heavy blows to upper echelons and are known to be pestering the establishment on regular basis but Bayern Munich have been on the receiving end of these blows for more than they had hoped for and are getting ready to retaliate.

Verdict: Half-Time/Full-Time Home Win

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

 

 

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